One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” 5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. 8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
After looking at the question are you on board with Jesus, we come now to the second question:
- Are you obeying Jesus?
We do not know what Jesus was teaching but we do know that when he was done He wasn’t done with Simon. Most of us would respond by saying Jesus you just asked me to take you out here, and I have waited patiently for you to finish speaking to the crowd, isn’t that enough? No, it is not enough just to listen to Jesus we have to obey Him. We would say my partners have been cleaning the nets without me, and I am sure they are not very happy with me. But obedience is not based on what others think or feel. It’s here that we come to Christ’s command which is two fold, Go and Do.
- Go – “Launch out into the deep.”
The King James says that Jesus told Peter to, “Launch out into the deep.” To Launch out into the deep we must not only have Jesus in the boat of our lives, we must hear what he is saying. Faith does not come simply by experiencing his presence, some of the most faithless people in the world experience his presence every Sunday and yet live the most discouraged and defeated lives. You have to hear and obey Him. Here Simon tells Jesus “I have already tried and failed” Do you think Jesus doesn’t know about your failures? This is not a call based on our success it’s a call to success. Obedience is not based on your circumstances but the creator. Simon obeys because Jesus asks not because it makes sense. When we don’t get the results, we want to quit but Jesus calls us to launch out deeper. Obedience is not based on our results but on the Redeemer. From a worldly view point why would you listen to a carpenter about fishing when you are the expert? Simon was raised on the Sea of Galilee he knew these waters; he understood fish, their habits when and where they would feed. From God’s perspective why wouldn’t you listen to a carpenter if He was the one who created the lake and the fish! Whose view point are you looking at obedience through? For Simon it came down to Jesus word verses Simon’s wisdom. What is the authority in your life God’s Word or your wisdom? What He says or what you think? Where in your life does self need to give way to the Savior? Why is this call to launch out into the deep so hard, because we want to stay where it is safe.
We like the shallow water because its:
- Comfortable – We like the kiddy pool, where we can wade around for Jesus and be safe.
- We are in Control – its shallow and we can touch.
- Close – It requires very little risk.
- Convenient – It doesn’t take much time
We don’t like the deep water because it requires:
- Commitment – Its far from shore and it takes more time and effort.
- Courage – It requires you to risk your boat and life.
- Christ is in Control – The deep water means you can’t touch and you have to trust the Savior instead of self.
- Challenges – There are storms and high waves
But obedience is a choice. It’s one thing to sit in your boat listening to Jesus but it’s another to obey Him and risk your boat for Him. Not only are we to Go but second we are to:
- Do – “let down your nets”
This is a call to work for Jesus instead of self. Being on board with Jesus means working for Him. We need to remember that even though Jesus transforms the fishing boat into a platform for the gospel we are still called to work. We need to remember that we are still on a fishing boat not a cruise ship. The difference between a cruise ship and a fishing boat is that on a cruise ship the goal is pleasure but on a fishing boat the goal is work. On a cruise ship the crew is there for you but on a fishing boat you are the crew. On a cruise ship it’s all about you but on a fishing boat it’s all about Jesus. Launching out and lowering your nets requires making yourself and your resources available for the Lord’s service. There must be a willingness to serve, it is on the battlefield of submission that victory is either won or lost. We are called to obey not theorize, or scrutinize, or religionize. Simon calls Jesus Master or teacher. It’s here on the heels of obedience that we see the:
Obedience to Jesus is the key to what we end up with in our net. Success is found with Jesus failure without Him. Without Jesus it was a long night but with Jesus it was a short day. Without Jesus the nets were empty but with Jesus the nets have extra. Without Jesus there is failure but with Jesus there is success. Overflow created an opportunity to call for help and involve others. I think Christianity today is about what we can control we don’t really want an overflow we don’t really want to involve others and let them experience the success. But when we obey Jesus the blessing will be more than we can contain it will fill up more than just our boat it will spill over into the lives of others. What has Jesus called you to do? Are you obeying or objecting?